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Thingiverse | MakerBot Thingiverse Make-a-Thon

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We are excited to host our second annual MakerBot Thingiverse get together at our HQ in Brooklyn, New York, November 15th and 16th.

Register now

The Design Side of 3D Printing
This year’s Make-a-Thon is concentrated on the design side of 3D printing. Come attend workshops and presentations from our MakerBot Studio and MakerBot Learning teams, as well as from some of our Thingiverse community members

Here are a few of the planned sessions:
–Getting started with 3D Printing
–From Concept to Digital Store Model with Solidworks & ZBrush
–OpenSCAD Crash Course for Customizable Designs
–Parametric Modeling with Rhino featuring SimplusDesign
–Rapid prototyping of 3D design apps with Three.js
–Advanced 3D Printing techniques with custom profiles

Participate in a weekend design challenge, get feedback and 3D design tips from our resident experts, 3D print your designs in our BotFarm, score swag from our MakerBot giveaways — and more!

Register Now
Space is limited for this free event and we expect spaces to go fast, so register now

We can’t wait to see what you make!

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MakerBot PrintShop | Create Custom Vases With Version 1.0.5

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Here at MakerBot, we’re constantly rolling out new tools and product features that give you fun and easy ways to make the most of your MakerBot 3D Printer.

Today, we’re excited to announce the release of Version 1.0.5 of MakerBot PrintShop for iPad. Its dynamic design interface enables you to easily sculpt and 3D print an endless variety of decorative vases and containers.

Download MakerBot PrintShop 1.0.5 on the Apple App Store now.

Customizable and Optimized
Pick from four base patterns and then use the drag sliders to control surface texture, height, and shape to make a vase that’s truly your own. And while the Vase Maker tool is optimized for seamless use with all of our latest generation of MakerBot Replicator 3D Printers, if you have a MakerBot Replicator Z18 Printer, you can create and print vases up to 17.5 inches tall!

Make Elegant, Personalized Gifts
With endless possibilities and patterns for potted plant holders, desk accessories, bowls and containers, you’re just a few taps of your iPad away from creating the perfect personalized 3D printed gift for friends or family.

We Can’t Wait to See What You Make!
Post your creations to Twitter and Instagram with the tag #makerbotvasemaker.

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Tip: For filling your vase, we recommend 3D printing our beautiful Spring Blossoms flowers available on the MakerBot Digital Store. However, if you want to use real flowers and water, find a small glass container and measure its height and diameter. Then, when using sculpting mode in Vase Maker, make sure the diameter of the vase’s opening is wide enough to fit your glass container inside.

NOTE: The decorative bowls and vases created with MakerBot PrintShop’s Vase Maker are not guaranteed to be food safe, water safe, dishwasher safe, or microwave safe.

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MakerBot Support | Working Hard To Help You

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At MakerBot, we’re working hard to provide expert, friendly customer support to all of our customers around the world.

As we’ve grown, so have the challenges of providing world-class support to our customers who are pushing the limits of 3D printing in over 100 countries. To help our customers, we’ve launched one of the most comprehensive support programs in the industry.

However, we know it’s not perfect. We understand that some of you have had to wait to too long to receive service and we are taking efforts to change that. We’re working hard to ramp up our capabilities and expand our service offerings.

In recent months we’ve hired a new head of support, rationalized our processes, and have increased the size of our support team. We’re constantly improving on all aspects of our services but we know we can always do more.

We’ve listened to your concerns and created three flexible options for you to receive the support that you need.

1. Free Online Resources
We provide free and easy access to in-depth online support pages filled with FAQs, tips, and videos covering a large number of issues and concerns. These support pages are available to everyone, updated on a weekly basis, and always online, 24/7. You can access it here.

In addition, because many of our customers are new to our products and 3D printing, we provide free email support for 60 days following product delivery, in addition to a limited product warranty.

In the weeks and months ahead, we’ll continue improving our online support pages and we’ll be sure to keep you in the know as the changes happen.

Visit Online Support Pages

2. MakerBot MakerCare Protection Plan
For those looking for more in-depth technical support and coverage for wear or damage, we now offer the MakerBot MakerCare Protection Plan. Providing extended support that includes email and phone support, as well as live chat, this service has been vital for many new users exploring 3D printing for the first time. Tailor your support experience by purchasing one, two, or three-year plans.

We’re working tirelessly to address your concerns in order to make MakerBot MakerCare the best protection plan available. Since rolling out this plan our response times have improved, helping to give you timely support so your printing is disrupted as little as possible.

Learn More About MakerCare

3. As-Needed Support
In addition to our online support pages and MakerBot MakerCare, we created an option for those of you who are somewhere in between our self-service options and our full-service protection plans. Our pay-per-incident service allows you to purchase more extensive service on an as-needed basis with phone and email support.

This per-incident option provides our best help for anyone who needs more intimate support than available in our online knowledge base.

Open a Per-incident Support Case

Device Registration
No matter what support program you choose, to make your MakerBot Support experience more seamless, we recommend that all customers register their MakerBot printer or scanner.

Registering gives MakerBot Support the information it needs to better and more quickly serve your needs.

Register Your MakerBot Device

Who are we?
Like many of our customers, the MakerBot Support team is a group of passionate 3D printing super-users.

We don’t just answer your emails and phone calls; we work closely with Engineering, Quality Assurance, and Shipping to test prints and devices. We’re always exploring ways to improve your entire experience as a customer and striving to learn about and address your concerns.

We’re inspired by the ever-growing MakerBot 3D printing community and enjoy supporting a customer base that’s expanded from makers and weekend hobbyists to include educators, professionals, and large corporations.

We’re working hard to better serve our community at a scale never before possible and, as we work through our growth and growing pains, we look forward to being a partner in your exploration of 3D printing.

As always, if you have any thoughts, concerns, or suggestions, please email us at [email protected].

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MakerBot Factory | Working Together, Shipping Better

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Meet The MakerBot Factory Team
Lots of people have asked us what happens at the MakerBot Factory and who works there.  To give you an idea, we’re a Brooklyn-based team of assembly line workers, quality assurance members, warehouse techs, shipping clerks, supervisors, managers, and engineers. Working with MakerBot Quality Assurance and Support teams, we’ve created a system that’s designed to continuously improve based on field data and customer feedback.

MakerBot Then and Now
In 2009, MakerBot production was located in a garage. It has since evolved to include a Brooklyn warehouse that’s over ten times the size of our original location. In just five years, our dedicated assembly work force has grown to over 100 people. The shipping team moved from sending every product via small parcel to implementing a global supply chain. This growth has led to exciting changes and increased complexity in MakerBot operations. With so many moving parts, we’ve had to reevaluate how we approach shipping MakerBot products.

How We’re Making Shipping Better

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Shipping complexity is by far one of the biggest challenges we face, largely due to the fact that we now ship to over 100 countries. Unfortunately, we sometimes hear from customers who’ve received MakerBot products damaged from shipping. We work hard to get you your purchase quickly and, but recognize that’s not always the case. We’re always looking for ways to improve the shipping experience so we’re constantly taking feedback from the field and from customers.

In addition to adopting International Safe Transit Association (ISTA) testing standards for shipped products, which include simulations of the harshest shipping experiences, we’ve also changed the packing material from honeycomb cardboard to custom recycled foam. We’ve seen great improvements as a result of these developments. Staying in close touch with our global shippers also helps keep delays and glitches down.

The MakerBot Replicator Z18
Because the MakerBot Replicator Z18 3D Printers are so much larger than all other MakerBot models, we had to learn about the ISTA-3E standards for freight shipping. As a result, we’ve experienced some growing pains, but we’re going above and beyond the ISTA-3E standards to get your printer to you safely.

For example, when we realized that one of our carriers was stacking MakerBot Replicator Z18s on top of one another despite on-box directions, we immediately started shipping them with “no-stack” cones on top of each box. While we realize this is not a fix for all shipping concerns, it is one of the one of many steps we’re always taking to create a better shipping experience for you.

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We Work as a Team
Our manufacturing and quality engineers work closely with our Customer Support and Quality Assurance teams to address the needs of our customers. This collaboration has resulted in a better support experience, including additions like device registration, live chat, and a collection of intuitive online support pages, where you can find useful manuals, tips, and suggestions, including articles on issues like:

-MakerBot Replicator Z18 shipping damage
-MakerBot Replicator Z18 unboxing video

We’ve spoken with both satisfied and frustrated customers, dug through field research, and instituted a number of changes that work toward a better overall experience. We’re excited to continue improving every step of the way and are eager to hear from you. Feel free to contact us at [email protected].

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MakerBot | Tips for the MakerBot Replicator Z18

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The Making Curve
Desktop 3D printing is evolving swiftly and MakerBot is working continually and iteratively to improve both hardware and software. This process involves experimentation and adjustments as the printers, and the software that drives them, are repeatedly fine-tuned. MakerBot employees from all over the company get involved and are constantly providing input as they work with the printers at or near their desks.

With that in mind, we asked Joey Neal, MakerBot’s VP of Digital Products, to share some tips about what he’s testing and tweaking as he works to continually improve print quality on his MakerBot Replicator Z18, a printer that resembles MakerBot’s other 3D printers but is perhaps best appreciated by people comfortable with tweaking and refining.

Back in 2011, Joey built a MakerBot Thing-O-Matic over the course of a couple of weekends and he and his son quickly became addicted to Thingiverse. One printer led to another and in 2013 (after spending many happy hours with his Thing-O-Matic, Replicator, MakerBot Replicator 2, and MakerBot Replicator 2X), Joey officially joined the MakerBot team, where he enjoys creating with a MakerBot Replicator, a MakerBot Replicator Mini, and a MakerBot Replicator Z18.

Massive Means Different
From his office stocked with large 3D prints, Joey had a few things to note right off the bat.

“First off, the Z18 is massive compared to the printers we had at our disposal just last year at MakerBot. It can print for hours and hours, and even days, depending on the model you are printing and settings that you have selected.

“The software team has been working hand in hand with our test engineering team to print, test and learn from results over hours and hours of testing. Print quality at larger volumes is a main focus and here are a few things I have been testing and have seen some quality results.

“Caveat: Your mileage may vary and these are not official MakerBot recommendations but, as a MakerBot operator, it’s always great to get under the hood a little bit and see the results.”

Try Tinkering With the Temperature (and Shells)

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“For solid models that do not have a lot of intricate details (that is, gaps where the extruder needs to jump between printings), I have been playing around with raising the temperature a little bit to see how it prints. Some folks have seen some under-extrusion from time to time and temperature plays a big role in laying down each layer.”

“I have created a custom profile in MakerBot Desktop that raises the temperature from 215°C to 218°C. If the model does have a lot of jumps, you may see a bit more stringiness between gaps — so your mileage may vary.”

To try out this idea, create a custom profile of your own. Follow the steps located here in the MakerBot Replicator Z18 knowledge base.

Be careful, though. There are always tradeoffs with raising or lowering the temperature. We’ve found 215°C works well for the majority of models. A higher temperature can work better for others (like a vase), but if yours has lots of “jumps”, as Joey calls them, you may experience an increase in stringiness.

For now, you’ll still need to edit custom profiles with your text editor. But Joey notes the ability to edit a custom profile directly in MakerBot Desktop will be available later this year.

For under-extrusion, you could also try increasing the number of shells (the perimeters printed on each layer of your object). Additional shells make the outside of your print thicker and stronger, and can make up for weakness caused by under-extrusion.

See What the Community is Doing

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The Thingiverse community is a great place to share the tips you’ve discovered with fellow MakerBot operators, and to pick up a few yourself. Joey is trying out this clip, shown here, created by community member, Wheeler (Thingiverse 419367).

“It’s a clip you can print and then put on the Z18 housing as an additional safeguard for the Smart Extruder. We have seen some folks have a connectivity issue from time to time and I wanted to see if having the clip on had any effect. So far I have not seen any pauses due to connectivity issues.”

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MakerBot Events | Get Ready to 3D Print with Photoshop CC

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Adobe Photoshop CC now offers the ability to easily and reliably build, refine, preview, prepare and print dual-tone 3D designs on a MakerBot Replicator 2X Experimental 3D Printer. In his interactive presentation, 3D Printing with Photoshop CC, Mark Maguire, a 3D engineer on the Adobe Photoshop team with nearly 20 years of 3D, video, and gaming industry experience, will demonstrate of the new features that allow users to easily 3D print photographs and other two-toned models in beautiful detail.

REGISTER NOW

Come learn how at this one-time only event at the MakerBot Retail Store in Boston on Saturday, October 11th at 11:00 am.

Print Your 3D Designs Straight from Photoshop
After months of collaboration between Adobe and MakerBot, the latest release of Adobe Photoshop CC now gives creative professionals and owners of MakerBot Replicator 2X Experimental 3D Printers and MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printers the power to make or refine 3D designs and produce print-ready 3D models using familiar Photoshop tools. Automated mesh repair and support structure generation ensure models are produced reliably, while accurate previews allow the creator to submit print jobs with confidence.

Come and see it all in action for yourself!

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Innovator Sessions | Building A 3D Printing Curriculum

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Leslie Perry is the Technology Curriculum Leader at Whitby School, a Pre-K through 8th grade Montessori school in Greenwich, CT, and a big proponent of 3D printing in the classroom. Perry will give her presentation, How to Incorporate 3D Printing In Your Curriculum, at the MakerBot Retail Store in Greenwich, CT at 6pm on Wednesday, October 22nd.

REGISTER NOW

At the interactive event, she will discuss recent and upcoming 3D design units and challenge attendees to imagine the ways their teaching and lessons would change if they woke up tomorrow and the only printers that existed were 3D printers.

Whitby Harbor: Creating A 3D Learning Landscape
After an initial positive experience with 3D printing existing designs, Perry wanted to push her 5th and 7th graders students to take their design skills to the next level and create their own. So, using Tinkercad, MakerBot Replicator 3D Printers, and an iterative and collaborative process, she helped them envision, 3D design, and create a fictional seaside port called Whitby Harbor. The final town featured 3D printed structures such as a lighthouse, buildings, picnic tables, and boats, was assembled and displayed during spring parent conferences.

Hear more about Perry’s plans to expand the popular unit and add to her students’ “3D Land” with even more complex features and structures, including a space station.

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MakerBot Software | This Is What’s on the Way

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What’s on Tap for MakerBot Software
Today we’d like to take a moment of your time to share the features and improvements we’ve been working on and what you can look forward to in the next few months.

Our passionate teams of software experts have been hard at work, iterating and improving on the three software products we released this Spring, and working closely with their colleagues (specialists in hardware manufacturing, industrial design, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and more) to bring you the best 3D printing experience we can.

We know you’re eager to hear about specific features and fixes we’ve only hinted at before. So here is what you can expect from us from now until the New Year.

MakerBot Desktop
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First up for the app this fall is v3.3. It contains:

–A new Device Preferences dialog: so you can easily access and modify your printer settings
–Automatic filament unloading when your filament runs out. Currently, when filament runs out, a small piece remains inside the Smart Extruder and should be unloaded. However, it’s easy to miss and, if it’s not unloaded, may cause a jam.
–Camera improvements: These apply to the most recent generation of MakerBot Replicator 3D Printers. You’ll get faster frame rates, plus the ability to view through your printer’s camera over USB (as well as via your network, as it currently does).
–Bug fixes

We’ll also squeeze in an update to Library by adding Print History:
Anything you print from your personal Cloud Storage Library or Thingiverse can quickly be reprinted.

Version 3.4. Following on the heels of v3.3, this version will contain some of our most significant updates to the MakerBot Desktop app, including

–Improvements to print quality and slicing
–Advanced calibration tool: For tuning first layers and rafts, contributing to better overall print quality
–Auto update functionality: so you don’t have to reinstall
Ability to print via your network without having to manually confirm (press printer’s button or dial). Plus you can view the build plate via your printer’s camera.
–Post-print: Reprint an item and share to Thingiverse from the onboard camera if it’s a public item

MakerBot Mobile
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Early on in the fall, v1.1 of MakerBot Mobile will be a Universal Application that supports both iPhone and iPad screen resolutions. In addition, we’re including updates to better support iPhone 6 and 6+ resolutions.

Android lover? Version 1.0 will be released for you soon after. This version concentrates on Library access, Printing, and Monitoring.

Sneak peek. We’re also working on support for remote, on-the-go monitoring of your MakerBot Replicator 3D Printer. Start a print at home. Then head on down to the coffee shop and check your print’s status with MakerBot Mobile. You’ll be able to view it via your printer’s camera too!

MakerBot PrintShop
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The MakerBot PrintShop team is eager to release two new tools that we think you’ll really enjoy.

First up this autumn will be Vase Maker, which has been making an impact around MakerBot’s Brooklyn facilities as vases, bowls, and containers of all sort of shapes and sizes (all the way up to Z18 heights) have appeared on shelves and desks. We can’t wait to see what you make with it.

After that, it’s time for a medal making tool. These fun medals can be used for sports, events, and achievements. Pick a sport or icon, add your own text, and print.

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Medals pictured are prototypes. Stay tuned for the final designs.

You can also expect continual updates to the Explore section of PrintShop during the next few months.

MakerBot Thingiverse
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Before year’s end, the plan is for the Thingiverse community to take advantage of an exciting new collaborative feature called Groups. Members will be able to start a Group around a topic they’re passionate about, invite others to join, and then collaborate by sharing things and discussing subtopics.

To sum up, we have an incredibly passionate team dedicated to pushing the MakerBot 3D Ecosystem ever further for you and we’re eager to bring these updates in the next few months. Stay tuned for more as it develops.

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MakerBot Digital Store | Make History with Famous Expeditions

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The Ships of Bold Explorers
Challenge your inner explorer with the Famous Expeditions collection from the MakerBot Digital Store. Inspired by historical vessels that sailed the world’s uncharted waters, this set of intricate 3D model ships will take you on an educational odyssey. Loaded with ladders, ropes, and oars, these ships are unbelievably detailed.

Visit the MakerBot Digital Store to download the entire collection.

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It’s Time to Make History
Watch history come to life as you print 3D models of ships that once sailed the high seas. Each 3D model was designed with careful attention to ensuring accurate printing of the details of each vessel, like the ridged sails of The Bao Chuan, the crow’s nest of The São Cristóvão, and the dragonhead of The Drakkar.

We’ve made The Drakkar available for free download on Thingiverse so you can wet your feet in the waters of exploration.

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#WeeklyMake | Power Your Flowers

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If you’re yearning for some greenery as the warm weather winds down, you’re not alone. Surrounding yourself with plant life has been proven to reduce stress and improve brain function.

This week’s #WeeklyMake is a petite plant pot that’ll help you find your own little patch of garden Zen at the office or home.

DOWNLOAD NOW

 

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Triangulated Flower Pot by Bluebie | Thingiverse.com | 266392

Let’s See Those Coloring Skills in Full Bloom
The elegant, parametric design of the Triangulated Flower Pot would surely make Pythagoras himself proud just the way it is. Nevertheless, we think this (soon to be) verdant vessel is just begging for your personal touch. Once you’ve 3D printed your flower pot on your MakerBot Replicator Mini, turn its elaborate geometry into your personal coloring book.

Snap a photo of your colorfully decorated floral vessel and share it on Twitter or Instagram with the tags #WeeklyMake and #FlowerPotArt.

Can’t get enough #WeeklyMake? Check out our #WeeklyMake Thingiverse collection for more fun, easy-to-print 3D models.

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